Monday, April 24, 2017

Class Reunion Poem

Class Reunion poem written (2004) by Donna Presnell for her  50th Class reunion (LHS Class of 1958). We hope she doesn't mind that we printed it.  

It was my class reunion, and all through the house,
I checked in each mirror and begged my poor spouse,
To say I looked great, that my chin wasn’t double,
And he lied through false teeth, just to stay out of trouble.

Said that ‘neath my thick glasses, my eyes hadn’t changed,
And I had the same figure, it was just a mite rearranged.
He said my skin was still silky, although looser in drape,
Not so much like smooth satin, but more like silk crêpe.

I swallowed his words, hook, sinker and line
And entered the banquet hall feeling just fine.
Somehow I’d expected my classmates to stay
As young as they were on that long-ago day
We’d hugged farewell hugs.

But like me, through the years,
They’d added gray to their hair, or pounds to their rears.
But as we shared a few moments and we told some class jokes,
We were 18 in spirit, though looked like our folks.

We turned up hearing aid volumes and dimmed down the light,
Rolled back the years, and were YOUNG FOR THE NIGHT!

If you are a Lawrence county Class reunion planner, the Lawrence County Historical Society can help you.  We have yearbooks, photos and mementoes and can create a custom DVD for your event. Contact for more information.  

Friday, April 21, 2017

April Meeting


            The Lawrence County Historical Society will hold its monthly program meeting on Monday, April 24, at 7:00 p.m., at the History Center on the corner of 12th and State in Lawrenceville. 

The featured speaker will be Judy Cresap, who will present a program on the history of postcards in America. 

Cresap, a resident of Seymour, Illinois, is a lifelong collector and dealer in postcards, and will talk about the origin of postcards, how they changed over the years, and how they became one of our most common forms of written communication.

Cresap will be showing some of the postcards from her extensive collection, and those attending the meeting are invited to bring their own postcards for showing.

The meeting is free and open to the public.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

4-H Float Entry 1940's

This photo is labeled on the back "1940's Farm Bureau Parade in Lawrenceville.  4-H Float entry. Thelma Schrader is the girl in white in the front."

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Portonians-BTHS school newspaper

The History Center has quite a collection of both the Portonians (the BTHS newspaper) and the TomaTalks (the LTHS newspaper). The above photos date back to the 1930's.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

News of Springs Past

April 27, 1933

  • Several state men were in town holding a training school for motorcycle policemen.  The George Rogers Clark Speedway was used as a training track. 
  •  Lawrence County quota for federal conservation work has been set at 43 men.
  •  Raymond Lorance, 18, John Ernest, 17, and William Frazier, 13, are in county jail awaiting a hearing on a charge of larceny.  They are charged with the theft on the receipts of the Avalon Theatre of about $40 on Sunday afternoon.  The money was reported taken from the box office while the cashier was away a short time.  (The newspapers of those days did not bother with the age of the perpetrators....)

April 29, 1943

  • Joseph F Diver, former state's attorney, has accepted a position in the legal department of the Ohio Oil Company and will be located in Marshall.

  (Not sure of the date)

  • Richard E Davis, former owner of the Davis Supply Company has sold his building at 1211 State Street, next door to the Lawrence County News, to Gerald Miller.  Miller will use the building for a new type of business known as Miller's Marine Store and will sell Johnson outboard motors and other Johnson products and items used in connection with the outdoor life on the water. 
  • Donald Hinton, a senior at EU and student teacher in Lawrenceville school system has been appointed manager of the new Swimming pool by the Lawrence Township Park Board. 
May 2 1973

  • A large number of retired employees of Texaco attended the Old Timers annual get-together held Friday at the Moose.  The oldest member, James B Marshall, 94, was unable to attend and it was the first time he had ever missed one of the gatherings since the first Silver Anniversary Awards dinner affairs began in 1938. 
  • The Lawrenceville Kiwanis club observed its Golden Anniversary May 5. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Lewis Dan and Molly Leach

"Pictured above is Lewis D. Leach and his wife, Mary E, known as ‘Molly.’ Mr. Leach, commonly called ‘Lou Dan’ by friends, was a barber in Bridgeport. He later was appointed postmaster and served out his appointment, then owned the hardware store on the southeast corner of Main Street and Olive Street. They resided at 306 West Olive St. in Bridgeport for many years. This photo is taken on the sidewalk at 248 West Olive St., the home of Lily Jane Lutz, who was Molly’s sister. The structure pictured in the photo is the Plummer Photography Studio located at 236 West Olive St. Packer’s Market Locker Plant and Grocery Store, located at the southeast corner of West Olive and Washington Street, is visible also.

Lou Dan and Molly are buried in Bridgeport City Cemetery near Shiloh Church. Mr. Leach lived from 1871 to 1967; Mrs. Leach lived from 1870 to 1957."

The photo and the information was submitted by Arista Pennington Jr. who grew up in this neighborhood.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Mary Whittaker, Renowed Music Instructor

Mary Whittaker
One of the outstanding personalities of the Bridgeport community and a leader in the field of music was Mrs. Mary E. Whittaker of 608 North Main St. She was born in Lawrence County and earned a reputation of aggressiveness, sincerity and honesty.

Mrs. Whitaker, whose maiden name was Wickey, was born in Bridgeport on June 27, 1878, and was a long lifelong resident of that community. Joseph C. Whittaker and Mary E. Wickey were married on August 21, 1901. The young couple were ambitious and for years Mr. Whitaker operated one of the leading stores of the county in Bridgeport.

A graduate of the schools of Bridgeport, Mrs. Whitaker attended St. Mary’s of the Woods, near Terre Haute, for one year followed by three years at Jacksonville Illinois Female Academy and Forest Park University at St. Louis to complete a rounded educational background.  She graduated from Kroeger School of Music in St. Louis in 1915, and continued to study there for two years. In 1916 she passed the Illinois State Teachers’ examination in piano, violin, theory, harmony and music history. She continued her studies at Cincinnati Conservatory of music, majoring in piano.

Joining the Bridgeport Township High School faculty she taught orchestra, harmony and music history for 11 years. Eighteen of Mrs. Whitaker’s pupils became successful music teachers and many others served as organist in churches and organizations.

She  operated a music studio in Bridgeport for many years. Mrs. Whitaker accepted a position in the Bicknell, Indiana, school system and later opened a studio there that operated for more than 19 years. Studios in Vincennes, Washington and Monroe City, Indiana added hundreds of students to her large list of pupils who appreciated music more, due to her efforts.

Mrs. Mary E. Whitaker, known to many people in Lawrenceville and Bridgeport as the ‘music instructor of the county,’ announced that she was retiring after 53 years in the music teaching profession in 1957 at age 79.  However, she began teaching at age 15 before she attended college and received her formal education.

Mrs. Whitaker served the Bridgeport Building and Loan Association as secretary for several years while rearing a family. Mr. and Mrs. Whitaker had three children. Joseph Jr. was killed in an accident while a sophomore at University of Illinois. Ms. Francis Whitaker became instructor of music at Washington, Illinois, High School for at least seven years, followed by several years in the Bridgeport Public School system. Dr. Lorin Dixon Whitaker became a surgeon in Peoria after four years’ experience with Mayo Clinic at Rochester. Mrs. Whitaker’s husband Joseph C. Whittaker predeceased her.

(Ed Note:  We were honored to receive a scrapbook filled with all of her music recital programs from 1916 to 1957. If a family member of yours took music lessons with Mrs. Whitaker, we would like to hear about it.  If you would like to see if a family member is listed as one of her students, stop by the History Center on Monday or Saturday 9-3.)